Director: Lars von Trier Starring: Nicole Kidman, Paul Bettany, John Hurt Running time: 178 mins
Subject: The world’s smallest village is persuaded by their self-appointed moralist Tom (Paul Bettany) to shelter Grace (Nicole Kidman) a beautiful stranger on the run from the mob. To say that their heart-warming hospitality rapidly gives way to cruelty and exploitation would be wrong. The film last three hours. It gives way at a leisurely pace.
Strawberry blonde count: Two. Kidman and Bettany are luminously beautiful leads.
Is there a banging support cast? Heck yeah. John Hurt does his soothing storyteller thing, Lauren Bacall plays the excellently titled “Old Ma Ginger”. Stellan Skarsgård is his creepy self, Patricia Clarkson, Ben Gazzara, Chloe Sevigny and James Caan all have small but meaty parts. It’s enough to make anyone fall into a swoon.
Like: A Lars von Trier film. If you don’t know what this means take a look at this.
What the blazes is the above picture about? Ah, this is pretty cool. The whole damn show plays out on a sparse stage with a minimum of props and houses separated with chalk rather than walls. When hideous things happen narratively behind closed doors they play out visually metres away from playing children.
Lot of: Rape. Not graphic Girl with Dragon Tattoo rape but rape nonetheless.
Core truth: A little power exposes the darkest of urges.